Evaluation of management alternatives in the san acacia reach based on high resolution modeling
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Evaluation of Management Alternatives in the San Acacia Reach Based on High-Resolution Modeling. Robert Bowman and Laura Wilcox, Department of Earth and Environmental Science New Mexico Tech Nabil Shafike New Mexico Interstate Stream Commission. Acknowledgements. Collaborators

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Evaluation of Management Alternatives in the San Acacia Reach Based on High-Resolution Modeling

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Evaluation of management alternatives in the san acacia reach based on high resolution modeling

Evaluation of Management Alternatives in theSan Acacia ReachBased on High-Resolution Modeling

Robert Bowman and Laura Wilcox,

Department of Earth and Environmental Science

New Mexico Tech

Nabil Shafike

New Mexico Interstate Stream Commission


Acknowledgements

Acknowledgements

  • Collaborators

    • SS Papadopulos & Associates

  • Funding Agencies

    • NM Interstate Stream Commission

    • US Army Corps of Engineers


Motivation for understanding better balance of competing demands

Motivation for Understanding: Better Balance of Competing Demands

  • Agriculture

  • Municipal/Industrial

  • Environmental

  • Interstate

    compacts


The san acacia reach critical for rio grande compact compliance

The San Acacia Reach: Critical for Rio Grande Compact Compliance


Relevant issues

Relevant Issues

  • Water consumption by riparian vegetation

  • Removal of exotic vegetation

  • Environmental effects of drying of the river

  • Potential engineering alternatives


Evaluation of management alternatives in the san acacia reach based on high resolution modeling

Demands On Water Resources


Evaluation of management alternatives in the san acacia reach based on high resolution modeling

Elephant Butte Dam

Study Area

Aerial view of San Acacia Diversion Dam, looking southwest

Low Flow

Conveyance Channel

San Acacia DiversionDam

Socorro Main Canal

Aerial view of Elephant Butte Reservoir and Dam, looking northeast


Evaluation of management alternatives in the san acacia reach based on high resolution modeling

transpiration

precipitation

evaporation

Well pumping

irrigation

River flow

LFCC gain

Groundwater

rechargeand

discharge

Groundwater

rechargeand

discharge

CONCEPTUAL MODEL OF WATER DYNAMICS

Rio Grande

drain

LFCC

East

West


Approach to determining surface water groundwater interactions

Approach to Determining Surface Water/Groundwater Interactions

  • Water dynamics

  • Water chemistry

  • Hydrologic modeling


Water dynamics

Water Dynamics

  • Determine connectivity between surface water bodies

  • Determine groundwater response to changing river stage

  • Evaluate temporal changes


Monitoring network

Monitoring Network

  • 7 transects over ~50 miles

  • ~175 monitoring wells

  • 25 surface-water-level gauges

  • ~70 transducers taking hourly water level readings


Monitoring transect cross section

Rio Grande

Socorro Main Canal

LFCC

Monitoring Transect Cross Section


Evaluation of management alternatives in the san acacia reach based on high resolution modeling

Groundwater Levels Rise in Winter

SRD

LFCC

Rio Grande

Rio Grande

Groundwater Wells

LFCC


Evaluation of management alternatives in the san acacia reach based on high resolution modeling

Groundwater Levels Rise in Winter

LFCC

Rio Grande

Rio Grande

Groundwater Wells

LFCC


Evaluation of management alternatives in the san acacia reach based on high resolution modeling

Groundwater Responds to ET


Evaluation of management alternatives in the san acacia reach based on high resolution modeling

Groundwater Responds to Flooding


Hydrological modeling

Hydrological Modeling

  • Integrate current understanding of GW/SW interactions

  • Evaluate operations of the river and the LFCC

  • Evaluate impact of groundwater levels on riparian ET

  • Investigate management alternatives


Key data collected

Key Data Collected

Geologic Data

  • Stratigraphy (color, grain size, hydraulic conductivity)

    Aquifer Data

  • Hydraulic conductivities (aquifer testing)

  • Water-elevation time series


Evaluation of management alternatives in the san acacia reach based on high resolution modeling

400 ft

Legend

20 ft

Fine to Coarse Sand,

Coarse Sand

No Sample

Clay, Sandy Clay

East

Rio Grande

West

Sand and Gravel, Gravel

Silt, Silt & Fine Sand

4560

LFCC

Clayey Gravel

HWY-W06

Fine Sand

HWY-E02

HWY-W07

HWY-W04

HWY-E01

Santa Fe Group Bedrock

HWY-E03

Fine to Medium Sand,

Medium Sand

HWY-W02

HWY-W03

Water Surface

4540

Layer 1

Layer 2

4520

Valley

alluvium

4500

Layer 3

4480

Santa Fe

Formation

4460

Stratigraphy


Evaluation of management alternatives in the san acacia reach based on high resolution modeling

Aquifer Testing


Evaluation of management alternatives in the san acacia reach based on high resolution modeling

Legend

Well 0-20 feet

Well 40-50 feet

Well 80-90 feet

Staff gage

Extraction well

LFCC

Rio Grande

Low-permeability zone

Aquifer Test Instrumentation

0.5 miles north of Highway 380 in San Antonio

10

07

09

Socorro Riverside Drain

LFCC

Rio Grande


Evaluation of management alternatives in the san acacia reach based on high resolution modeling

Legend

Well 0-20 feet

Well 40-50 feet

Well 80-90 feet

LFCC

Rio Grande

Low-permeability zone

Time-drawdown of nested well W07A,B,C

r of W07 = 15 feet


Evaluation of management alternatives in the san acacia reach based on high resolution modeling

Telescopic model

-smaller domain

-refined grid

-constant head from regional model

Regional model - ISC

AREA OF INTEREST FOR HIGH-RESOLUTION MODELING

N

Magdalena Mountains

San Acacia

60

Socorro

San Antonio

I-25

San Marcial

380

Rio Grande


Evaluation of management alternatives in the san acacia reach based on high resolution modeling

River water losses in this reach are extreme


Evaluation of management alternatives in the san acacia reach based on high resolution modeling

regional model grid is 1000 feet x 1000 feet

MODEL CONSTRUCTION - Model Grid

Domain is 320 rows x 170 columns = 54400 grid cells

OR 6 miles x 3 miles = 18 miles2

Telescopic model grid

is 100 feet x 100 feet


Evaluation of management alternatives in the san acacia reach based on high resolution modeling

Layer 1 - sand

Layer 3 - sand/gravel

0 feet

0 feet

35 feet

75 feet

Three-Layer Model

Layer 2 - clay/silt


Evaluation of management alternatives in the san acacia reach based on high resolution modeling

Surface Water System

  • Designation of grid cells to represent drains, LFCC, and river.

  • Each cell has values for:

    • stage

    • conductance

    • bottom elevation

    • bed thickness

    • vertical hydraulic conductivity


Evaluation of management alternatives in the san acacia reach based on high resolution modeling

Stream –aquifer System

Land

Surface

Water Table

Riverbed Conductance =

KLW

M

River

Surface

Streambed

Representation of Stream –aquifer System

Impermeable Walls

Head in

Cell (h)

River Stage

(HRIV)

MODFLOW River Package:

- Riv1 (MODFLOW 83)

M

RBOT

W


Evaluation of management alternatives in the san acacia reach based on high resolution modeling

Estimation of River Stage


Evaluation of management alternatives in the san acacia reach based on high resolution modeling

Legend

Crop and pasture

Riparian

Sandbars

Other or inactive

Riparian

Crops

Evapotranspiration

IKONOS – July 2000


Evaluation of management alternatives in the san acacia reach based on high resolution modeling

Prescribed Head

regional

model

telescopic

model

Constant head boundary determined from regional model for every stress period


Evaluation of management alternatives in the san acacia reach based on high resolution modeling

Model Calibration

Groundwater Budget


Evaluation of management alternatives in the san acacia reach based on high resolution modeling

EVALUATION OF MANAGEMENT ALTERNATIVES

  • Removal of the Low Flow Conveyance Channel

  • Relocation of the River Channel

  • Decrease in Riparian Evapotranspiration


Effects of removing the lfcc

Effects of Removing the LFCC

  • Groundwater levels rise

  • 8% increase in riparian ET

  • Seepage from river decreases by ~70%

With LFCC

Without LFCC


Evaluation of management alternatives in the san acacia reach based on high resolution modeling

Evaluation of Relocation of River Channel

Neil Cupp

Neil Cupp

LFCC

LFCC

W-91.28-1

W-91.28-1

Present day Rio Grande location

Simulated Rio Grande location

W-Perini

W-Perini

N

N

0.5 Miles

Highway 380

Highway 380


Effect of channel relocation

Effect of Channel Relocation

  • Groundwater rises to the east of the river

  • 2% decrease in riparian ET

  • Seepage losses from the river decrease by 34%

Original channel

Relocated channel


Effect of decreased riparian et

Effect of Decreased Riparian ET

  • Groundwater rises to the east of river

  • 50% decrease in riparian evapotranspiration translates to a 6% decrease in river seepage


Conclusions

Conclusions

  • The Rio Grande and the shallow groundwater system are highly interconnected

  • Most of the shallow groundwater is of Rio Grande origin

  • Channel adjustments and control of riparian vegetation can increase river flows


Evaluation of management alternatives in the san acacia reach based on high resolution modeling

Last Updated: November 3, 2002

Project Home

  • Rio Grande Project

    • Robert S. Bowman, Professor of Hydrology

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Home | Geology | Geochemistry | Hydrology | Geophysics | Site Map | Contact

Welcome to the Rio Grande Project Website!

The Rio Grande supports much of New Mexico agriculture and industry. With headwaters in Colorado and a terminus in the Gulf of Mexico, political, trans-state-boundary conflicts have existed for decades. In an effort to distribute water in a fair manner, the Rio Grande Compact was signed by the three US states and Mexico in 1938. The signing of this compact forced New Mexico into a debt/credit system of water delivery to Texas.

                                                                                Maintaining a fair and even balance of water distribution in New Mexico while continuing to deliver the appropriate volume of water downstream is a daunting task. The goal of this project is to study the surface water/groundwater interactions between San Acacia and Elephant Butte Dam. This reach of the Rio Grande shows distinct losses to the shallow aquifer and if a better understanding of the system is achieved, it may be possible to more efficiently deliver water to Elephant Butte Reservoir and ultimately, Texas.

This is a joint project funded by the ISC and Army Corps of Engineers, under the authority of Section 729 of the Water Resources Development Act.

STUDY AREAWhat area of the river are we studying? Where are the new wells going to be drilled?

RECENT RESULTSUpdated November 3, 2002by Laura WilcoxRecent data shows rising water levels with the onset of the monsoon. Latest water quality sampling (June) shows roughly the same trends as February except that the River displays LFCC trends in the south. (click here for graphs and other cool stuff)

CALENDARMeetings and conferences? Sampling? Water level measurements? Drilling? Pump tests? See what we are up to now.

PRESENTATIONSWant to learn more? Check out our latest abstracts and presentations.

MODELING EFFORTSA coupled surface water/groundwater model is currently being finalized and will aid in the creation of a refined model of the region between Luis Lopez and HW 380.

STUDENTSCurrently there are three students working on this project, two hydrology masters degree candidates and one undergraduate geophysics student.

ASSOCIATIONSWho else is involved with this project? Where does the money come from?

For More Information…

www.ees.nmt.edu\bowman\research\RioGrandeProject


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